Footage from last week was shown where with proclamations and machinations designed to put their enemies in their places. Assembling the entire WWE roster in the middle of the ring, The Authority — after some perfunctory face-rubbing for John Cena, who was forced to reinstate them — set about rewarding facilitator Seth Rollins with a third spot in the WWE World Heavyweight Title Match between Cena and Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. They also declared the night “John Cena Appreciation Night” as payment for the Cenation leader’s contributions
Later on the night, the authority arranged John Cena appreciation night and the “John Cena Appreciation Night” took a sinister turn particularly fast, as The Authority’s would-be celebration of the man who brought them back turned into a systematic dismantling of the Superstars who helped oust them in the first place. Less an appreciation than a public humiliation of the Cenation leader’s closest allies, The Authority went from a disingenuous “praising” of Cena’s perseverance to making him watch as they subjected his Survivor Series teammates to their long-promised punishment. For their insubordinate actions at Survivor Series, Erick Rowan, Ryback and Dolph Ziggler were all fired. So say the king and queen.
The Authority confronted John Cena
The show started John Cena came out to the arena. Cena reminded everyone that the authority was back in power and they fired three of his pals last week. Cena said that he was being accused for the reason the authority was back in power, but he had no other options given.
Cena said that the only offended was Triple H who was a thirteen times World champion was just another power hungry back stabbing guy right now. He reminded how the authority fired Eric Rowan, Ryback and the fan favorite Dolph Ziggler. He asked the fans if those three athletes deserved to be fired last week, the fans said No in unison. He asked the fans if they wanted them back. Cena requested the fans world wide to social network and asked them to hash tag ‘Authority sucks.’ He said if the authority could not hear them, they were deaf, blind and stupid.
Cena now talked about his match against Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins at Royal Rumble for the WWE World Heavyweight championship. Cena guaranteed that he would be walking out of Royal Rumble as the WWE World Heavyweight champion and he would wait till the authority gave those superstars their jobs back.
The Authority came out to the arena. They entered the ring and Stephanie McMahon spoke out first. Stephanie said that surely Ryback, Rowan and Ziggler would be quite happy to see him winning at the Royal Rumble. She reminded that Cena was the reason that they were not a member of WWE roster anymore.
Triple H said that he expected a lot more from this. He said whatever Cena was proposing for Rumble was a mutiny and anybody who would support him would be fired. Cena convinced others to stand by his side, knowing the fact that it could led them to be fired.
Triple H said that they wanted Cena to be their hero again. He revealed that they did not want to fire those three athletes. They fired them because unlike Cena they kept their promises. Triple H asked the fans if they wanted those three athletes to be back in WWE, the fans said Yes in unison. Now he asked Cena how much he wanted them back. He gave Cena an opportunity to bring them back, all he had to do was winning his match. He announced a Lumberjack match between Cena and Seth Rollins.
The dust has settled from the mass firing that closed last week’s Raw. But the wound is still open for John Cena, who indirectly allowed the reinstated Authority to serve Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan and Ryback their walking papers as payment for getting them ousted from power at Survivor Series. The 15-time World Champion’s vow to finagle the reinstatement of the “Corpus Christi three” by winning the WWE World Heavyweight Title and holding it hostage only provided ample opportunity for the corporate triptych to salt said wound. The Authority dangled an opportunity for Cena to get his three buddies their gigs back … provided he defeats Seth Rollins … in a Lumberjack Match.
Match 1 – Seth Rollins def. John Cena in a Lumberjack Match
It’s a swing and a miss for John Cena, who wagered the reinstatement of Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan on the result of a Lumberjack Match against Seth Rollins and whiffed against Mr. Money in the Bank with all the marbles on the line. The “highly motivated” crew of enforcers patrolling the ring certainly had a hand in ensuring Cena’s defeat (Bad News Barrett sprang with a particularly well-timed trip-up of his old foil), whaling on the fan favorite each time he was expelled while J&J Security ensured Rollins’ safety each time he was tossed over the ropes.
Cena managed to turn the tide with a top-rope crossbody to Rollins and the gaggle of lumberjacks surrounding him. Rollins stayed in the fight, though, with a superkick to a kneeling Cena and a nimble escape of the Attitude Adjustment that forced his adversary to keep digging deep. But Cena did, rebounding from a lumberjack mugging that ended with a Cesaro Swing that ping-ponged Cena off the barricade. A second swarming only moments later, this time bolstered by a KO Punch from Big Show, fared better, leaving Cena on a proverbial platter for Rollins to pin.
Match 2 – The New Day def. Cesaro & Tyson Kidd
No disguises necessary: The New Day repaid the sneak attack by Cesaro & Tyson Kidd last week by knocking off the two self-proclaimed “masters” of sports-entertainment, prevailing in a thrilling back-and-forth that left both squads looking like a million bucks when all was said and done. Despite sending Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods into the fray while Big E patrolled the outside to offset Adam Rose, The New Day didn’t have much use for their trademark positivity, instead letting The Dreadlocked Dynamo work his opponents over in surprisingly aggressive fashion.
That Cesaro & Kidd’s unorthodox tandem maneuvers — check the Cesaro Swing-into-a-dropkick combo — left Kingston wobbly should be no surprise. But Woods’ late entry into the contest and neutralization (so to speak) of Kidd with the Honor Roll was the definition of clutch, as was the backbreaker-double stomp combination maneuver that put The New Day over the top and handed them the bout in the end.
Match 3 – Roman Reigns def. Luke Harper
Roman Reigns’ impromptu fairytale allegory about kicking Big Show’s teeth in didn’t sit too well with the giant when he gave a particularly salty missive to the WWE Universe. All that probably explains why the former World Heavyweight Champion decided to get involved after Luke Harper skulked out of the darkness to face off against the former WWE Tag Team Champion Reigns in a one-on-one match. What initially ensued was a neck-and-neck slugfest between two of WWE’s best big men. But it took a turn when Reigns picked up momentum and began to beat the sufferin’ succotash out of the former Intercontinental Champion, ultimately negating Harper’s brutal discus clothesline with a Spear that cut the big man down like a tree. Big Show wasn’t about to sit back and watch his rival celebrate the hard-fought win, however, instead storming the ring and clobbering Reigns with a lights-out KO Punch that left him flat. That’s all, folks.
Match 4 – Alicia Fox def. Naomi
Apparently forgetting what happened to her former “Total Divas” castmate, Naomi suffered The Authority’s punishment of choice for the Divas who defy them and was forced to battle Alicia Fox with one arm tied behind her back. Things went about as well as you might expect for the former Funkadactyl. Despite an unexpectedly strong performance from Naomi that put Miss Fox on her heels, the former Divas Champion snuffed out Naomi’s momentum with a boot to the face and a scissor kick for the win that did new Raw commentator Booker T proud.
Match 5 – The Miz def. WWE Tag Team Champion Jey Uso
Might another opportunity for the WWE Tag Team Titles be in The Miz & Damien Mizdow’s future? Despite stumbling in their title rematch against The Usos, The Awesome One got one over on the titleholders by knocking off Jey Uso in singles action, with some timely assistance from Mizdow. The current and former champions had been locked in a dead heat for a long stretch until Mizdow took his stunt double responsibilities into fifth gear, diving into the ring. Mizdow’s move caused a fracas that distracted the ref and gave Miz the chance to plant his opponent with the Skull-Crushing Finale.
Stephanie McMahon interrupted Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan came out to the arena. He entered the ring and said that the last time he was in New Orleans he won the main event of WrestleMania and won the WWE World Heavyweight championship. He said that he declared his intentions of winning the Royal Rumble match. He said unlike last year, he would win this year’s WrestleMania main event as well.
Stephanie McMahon interrupted Bryan. She entered the ring and said she did not think if Bryan was physically fit even now. Stephanie said that last year at WrestleMania Bryan proved them wrong when he won the WWE World Heavyweight champion but then reality came crashing on. She showed the footage from last April when Kane attacked and beat Bryan down which led to a serious neck injury.
After the footage, Stephanie asked Bryan if he was ready to do it all again. Bryan started chanting ‘Yes’ and the fans joined him. Bryan said that he did not born with the silver spoon in his mouth, he had to fight for whatever he achieved, and he would not stop fighting. Stephanie announced Bryan’s first match since return, the match would take place at Smackdown vs. Kane.
Kane came out to the arena. As entered the arena Bryan attacked him. Kane fought back and started beating Bryan down. Once again Kane attempted to hit Bryan with the Tomb Stone Pile Driver on Steel Step. Bryan fought back and the official came out to stop the fight.